World famous jockey Frankie Dettori has copped a heartbreaking ban that will rule him out of this year’s Melbourne Cup.
The much-loved Italian star was planning on riding in his 18th and final Melbourne Cup this year.
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He has finished second in ‘the Race that stops the Nation’ on three occasions, but was dreaming big for his farewell Cup attempt.
However, after booking his ticket to Melbourne, a set of unfortunate circumstances have conspired against him in the cruellest of ways.
First, he was punished for a “whip breach” during the British Champions Day I, after it was ruled by officials from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) that we went “one stroke over” the legal limit.
Frankie Dettori at Ascot Racecourse on October 21, 2023. Credit: Getty Images
BHA then decided his punishment would commence on November 7, the day of the Cup.
“Regretfully at British Champions Day I went one stroke over in the opening and subsequent race,” Dettori said.
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“Following the whip review committee meeting early this week, my 16-day suspension will take effect from Tuesday, November 7, meaning I am unable to ride at the Melbourne Cup carnival.
“With flights booked, I still plan to attend Australia’s premier meeting to support the event.”
The glamour jockey was set to retire at the end of 2023 but recently reversed his decision after enjoying a successful farewell season.
With wins in the 2000 Guineas and the Gold Cup at Ascot, he had also set his sights on this year’s Melbourne Cup.
But that dream is now over.
Dettori said his recent successes had “tickled his emotions” and had inspired a move to California with his wife, Catherine, where he will ride at Santa Anita for the rest of the year (and maybe longer).
Dettori recently backflipped on his decision to retire, and will now ride in California. Credit: Getty Images
“How long I continue race-riding overseas and where my American journey takes me, no one can predict,” Dettori said earlier this month.
Dettori, who has been a jockey since 1987, became a global phenomenon at Ascot when he won all seven races in one day there in September 1996, after which he produced his storied flying dismount.
Among his major successes, Dettori has won the English Derby twice, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas four times each, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France six times.
He spent four months in the US around the turn of last year, finishing second in the jockey standings.
“It could be three months (in the US) or three years, I don’t know. It depends how well I do and depends on my body, I just felt I wasn’t ready to stop,” he said.
– With AAP
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